Black Lives Matter marches to Capitol Hill to protest police killings


As the nation reacted to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech in Cleveland, a large protest marched through downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill Thursday to speak out against police violence toward the black community.

“I’m sick of white supremacy,” said one 19-year-old woman as the group of hundreds of marchers circled up for a session of statements at 12th and Pine in front of the East Precinct headquarters. “I’m mourning children I haven’t even conceived yet.”

“They see our skin as a weapon,” said another. Continue reading

Bike rider suffers serious leg injury in 12th Ave collision

A bike rider suffered a serious lower leg injury after being struck by a driver in the 1700 block of 12th Ave Monday night.

According to preliminary reports from Seattle Fire units at the scene, the woman in her 40s was struck by a vehicle being driven on 12th Ave near E Olive St around 7:15 PM. The rider suffered a serious “open fracture” ankle injury but remained conscious during the medical response. She was transported to Harborview for treatment.

Seattle Police were on the scene to investigate the collision. Traffic was diverted in the area during the response.

Why these Capitol Hill businesses signed MTV’s Real World agreement

That dude asking if they have “espresso” at Kaladi Brothers while a camera crew waits outside? Reality TV star. Same with that woman checking out the produce at Central Co-op. Where the guests of MTV’s Real World come and go around Capitol Hill has a lot to do with which restaurants, bars, apothecaries, shoe stores, and co-ops have and have not signed the production’s contract.

It’s a powerful document when it comes to reality:

Producer shall have the right to refer to the Property by its actual name or any fictitious name, and the right to attribute actual or fictitious events as occurring on the Property, and the right to replicate the Property and use such replication in Producer’s sole discretion.

We’ve already heard from some of the Capitol Hill businesses who said no — sometimes emphatically. Here’s why some have said yes.

“We’re not going to turn business away from anyone,” a Cupcake Royale manager told CHS about the production. The crew has already filmed in Cupcake Royale several times without incident. The manager said they have called ahead every time and “seem nice.” Continue reading

PALMS, Northwest Film Forum’s biggest performance yet

13509112_10155074553039012_3529820825261728559_nPart of the venue’s new focus on live performance, the “dance, music, poetry, and architectural design” PALMS will premiere at the Northwest Film Forum Thursday for a short run on 12th Ave. The hour-long live show that started out as a creative exercise has flourished into a production that has sold out the 118-seat theater for opening night.

PALMS is an abstract representation of a wild animal turning into a woman. Choreographer Paige Barnes said the idea for the show was born 18 months ago when Barnes, dancer Nadia Losonsky, and poet Vanessa DeWolf started getting together and creating snippets of work in response to each other’s art as a way to stay engaged with the creative process. After about a month and a half of the exercises, Barnes said the final product began to emerge.

“I wanted to create that caged bird feeling,” Barnes said. “She’s blocked in by the sound, by the space, by her hands in her pockets.” Continue reading

MTV asks Capitol Hill business owners to sign Real World filming agreements

Third season "star" and arguably part of the disturbing reason the show continues to be made Puck and MTV have aged (Image: CHS)

Third season “star” Puck and MTV have aged. We don’t know what the new cast looks like but we guarantee they look better than Puck. (Image: MTV)

As filming for the 32nd season of MTV’s The Real World has begun, several businesses near the show’s set on 12th Ave in the Ballou Wright building have already been asked to sign filming agreements. Some are hesitant.

Eltana owner Stephen Brown was approached with a contract, and said turning MTV’s request for filming down flat was an “easy call.” Brown threw out the filming contract, which he said was a one-sided deal.

“Even if it was fair we would not do it,” said Brown, describing the show as dumb, unpopular, disruptive, and off-brand. Eltana has no current plans to ban participants, however. Brown said Eltana “will let anyone in who is a customer and not disruptive.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | With room for a Sugar Plum counter, Plum expanding on 12th Ave

Makini Howell’s vegan bistro Plum is expanding on 12th Ave — and adding something sweet in the process.

“We are booking a lot of catering this summer,” Howell said about the new Plum expansion set to take over the empty steakhouse just up the sidewalk. “It shows — more people are vegan but, also, the growth of the city. We’ve managed to stay through a lot of ups and downs.”

Plum Catering will put the expanded kitchen from the departed Manhattan to good use supporting Howell’s booming catering business while also making space for takeout meals, sauces, dips, and sundries. Pioneer Square’s London Plane offers an example of how it might fight together. A sweets counter featuring creations from the reinvigorated Sugar Plum will also be part of the construction underway in the space. Continue reading

The Old Sage closes after owner’s $2.4M bankruptcy filing

The $2.4 million bankruptcy of one of the pioneers of Pike/Pine’s explosion as a center of Seattle food and drink investment is behind the sudden closure of 12th Ave’s The Old Sage. While Brian McCracken’s neighboring Tavern Law has not made a similar announcement, rumors of a sale of the early player in Seattle’s renewed craft cocktail scene persist.

The bad news about The Old Sage bar and restaurant, as so much bad news does these days, came over the weekend via Facebook:

Friends of the Old Sage, its with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to you all tonight. We have had a amazing run and truly appreciate all the support you have given us over the years. Our entire staff invites you to join us tonight for one last get together. Come on down, drink some scotch, laugh with us, and lets give The Old Sage one amazing goodbye. 50% off everything we have left, CASH ONLY.

According to documents filed in Western District of Washington United States Bankruptcy Court, McCracken and his wife filed May 20th for chapter 7 protection over some $2.4 million in debts. Included in the filings are some $70,000 in taxes, nearly $50,000 in student loans, $10,000 for a 12th and Madison landlord, $38,000 owed to McCracken’s landlord in Belltown, $26,000 and change to AMEX, a whopping $218,439 to Gravity Payments, and $67,329 to something called Loan Me to go with $5,200 owed to the Money Tree.  Continue reading

On the List | HONK! Fest West brass band festival comes to Capitol Hill

Brass musicians march at a past HONK! Fest 4th of July show (Images: Mike Antares)

Brass musicians march at a past HONK! Fest 4th of July show (Images: Mike Antares)

HONK! Fest West is extending its reach to Capitol Hill.

The free outdoor music festival started in Seattle in 2008, and this year it runs from June 16 to 19 with a visit to Capitol Hill in the middle. Capitol Hill will have its day Friday with professional brass bands playing free live concerts at four locations on the Hill. Festival organizer Mike Antares estimates that about 26 bands will play on the Hill.

“HONK! Fest is about the accessibility of music, which is why they’re in parks, streets, and public spaces,” Antares said.

This is the first year that the festival has included Capitol Hill. Festival organizers were brainstorming earlier in the year about how to reach out to other communities in the Seattle area. “Capitol Hill was at the top of the list,” said Antares. Continue reading

This design agency is renting out its Capitol Hill office to The Real World

The_Real_World,_SeattleMTV’s The Real World is returning to Seattle for its 32nd season with a new home on Capitol Hill. Producers for the reality show have already started building out the set at the 12th Ave Ballou Wright building between Pike and Pine.

The camera-saturated living quarters for a cast of 20-somethings will be inside a space recently vacated by the tech-savvy creative agency Creature. The company began subleasing the space to the show’s producers last month and has since moved its 15-member staff to a coworking space in Pioneer Square. Continue reading

Producers of The Real World have staked out a set on Capitol Hill


The Ballou Wright building on 12th Ave. (Image: Hunters Capital via Facebook)

It has been 18 years since Stephen slapped Irene outside their downtown apartment during a now infamous episode of The Real World: Seattle. The MTV reality show that follows a group of strangers living together for several months may now be planning a Seattle comeback, this time on Capitol Hill.

R.W. Productions, a California-based company linked with the production outfit behind The Real World franchise, filed paperwork last week to create a “movie studio” and temporary residence on Capitol Hill.

The company is proposing $50,000 in alterations to create a residence for 18 months at the 12th Ave Ballou Wright office building between Pike and Pine, according to a permit application filed with the City of Seattle.

MTV has not yet returned requests for comment. UPDATE (5/31): A MTV spokesperson confirmed the next season of The Real World will be filmed in Seattle this year. We have also reached out to building owners Hunters Capital about the temporary makeover. The season finale of The Real World: Go Big or Go Home aired on Thursday.

In addition to its tech and creative tenants like the Creature agency, the Ballou Wright building is also home to new-era juice bar and cafe Juicebox. CHS wrote about the building’s overhaul and tech-savvy tenants here in 2011. For years, the building was home to Klineburger Brothers, one of the largest custom taxidermists in the country.

The 32nd season of the reality show, known for the drunken antics of its subjects, could see an interesting plot line develop between the housemates and their potential neighbors at the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct.

Bunim/Murray Productions have revisited several cities during its 31 seasons of making The Real World, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood’s homegrown series, Capitol Hill, recently released the 14th episode of its second season on Huffington Post.

Capitol Hill now has a Mystic Kombucha tasting room

The Mystic crew (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

The Mystic crew (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_6807If you are walking down 12th Ave and the sign is out, you know a small pocket of Capitol Hill food and drink community is open for you to stop in, talk with the people making something new to taste, and have a glass of neighborhood kombucha.

Mystic Kombucha quietly opened its new tasting room and kombucha bar a few weeks back. But the goal has been more to create a hangout than a new point of sale.

“By design, I was like, how can we not have a counter here,” founder Carlos da Silva said on a recent “tour” of the puny eight by fourteen foot space along 12th Ave.

Covered in raw cedar and purposefully reminiscent of a sauna, da Silva’s new Mystic showroom isn’t the kind of place you’ll want to settle into with a laptop. Stopping in for a drink means zero separation between staff and customer. You’ll have no choice but to render an opinion of the kombucha creations on tap. Unless you can take the close-up, face-to-face silence. Give it a try.

“How can we create something in this neighborhood where people feel they can connect with each other,” da Silva said of the genesis for creating a purposefully tiny tasting room. There is reportedly five times more room behind the walls, unused except for a small kegerator and a refrigerator.

Mystic got its start on 12th Ave in the kitchen at nearby Scratch Deli. da Silva and Caitlin Matteson grew the scobies and the business and now go throw “a keg a day” at cafes across the city plus “numerous kegs” every Sunday at the Broadway farmers market. In the meantime, a community of kombucha is growing in Central Seattle. Seattle first kombucha brewery, CommuniTea opened its new facility and tap room at 21st and Union earlier this spring.

da Silva said the goals for Mystic on 12th will remain small. Hours for the tasting room will vary. Watch for the a-frame sign to be out and people hanging out in the streetside space. There will be food and drink pop-ups from like-minded producers from time to time and da Silva said he is also hoping to make the space available for small community gatherings.

“We’re not here to sell you kombucha,” he said. “The real goal is to create intimacy and connection between the people who like kombucha and the people who work for mystic.”

Mystic Kombucha is located at 1711 12th Ave. You can learn more at

Northwest Film Forum tabs next executive director

unnamed-1There is hope, graduating art students of 2016, that those series of unpaid internships will eventually land you a dream arts organization job and Courtney Sheehan is living proof.

Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum announced Tuesday that the 27-year-old one-time college intern, who got her first full-time gig with the 12th and Pike nonprofit in 2013, has taken over as the new executive director.

“Courtney is really good at building relationships, understanding the importance of new ideas, and celebrating the kind of art that draws people together,” said NWFF board president Peter Vogt.

Sheehan’s appointment comes a year after Lyall Bush stepped down as the forum’s previous executive director. Bush, who had been involved with the forum since it opened 20 years ago, now leads the film program at Cornish College of Arts.

The NWFF stands out among film organizations in that it not only screens a wide variety of independent film, but also offers filmmaking classes, rents equipment, and funds local projects. In addition to expanding those elements, Sheehan said she is excited to program more events that mix film with performances and speakers. Continue reading